Nachrichten - News - Noticias
 published: 2009-05-19

A new throne of grace in Ecuador

Mission Jubilee Gift!


Nur noch wenige Tage bis zur Einweihung des Heiligtums in Ciudad Celeste, Ecuador

Faltan pocos días a la bendición del Santuario de Ciudad Celeste, Ecuador

The future Shrine of Ciudad Celeste

Nur noch wenige Tage bis zur Einweihung des Heiligtums in Ciudad Celeste, Ecuador


Jugend auf dem Gelände

Juventud en el terreno

Youth at the land

Jugend auf dem Gelände

Willkommen, liebe Gottesmutter!  

Bienvenida, querida Mater

Welcome, dear MTA

Willkommen, liebe Gottesmutter!

Das Heiligtum im Bau  

El Santuario en construcción

The Shrine in construction

Das Heiligtum im Bau

Alle bauen mit  

Todos lo construyen

All are building the Shrine

Alle bauen mit

Alle(s) für das Heiligtum!  

Todo(s) para el Santuario

All for the Shrine

Alle(s) für das Heiligtum!

Meine Hand furs Heiligtum…

Mi mano en el Santuario...

My hand, part of the Shrine

Meine Hand furs Heiligtum…

Fotos: Comisión Santuario de Ciudad Celeste © 2009




ECUADOR, Marisel de Heinert/Sr. M. Virginia Álvarez Under the motto, On fire for the mission, we announce the Shrine, our Schoenstatt Family officially started the spiritual and material striving towards the building of a new throne of grace for our Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt in Ciudad Celeste, Samborondón. What seemed to be only a dream is now a reality. Mary will take possession of her new home. This will be the fourth Shrine on Ecuadorian soil. A jubilee gift offered for the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Schoenstatt to Ecuador, and for the 60th anniversary of the mission proclaimed by our Father and Founder at Bellavista, on May 31st 1949. The longing for this Shrine will be fulfilled on May 31st 2009, on the solemnity of Pentecost.

The first Schoenstatt seed reached Guayaquil in 1960. A few years later, the first Shrine was born in this tropical land. In time, this plant has experienced such growth along with the city itself that "Samborondón" has come about. This is an area in development where many young families – most of them Catholics – have established their homes. Samborondón is thirty minutes away from Guayaquil: a rich region, where the land produces rice, cacao, plantain, and many types of fruit. At the moment, the area has 103 neighborhoods and subdivisions and much more to develop. The actual land for our MTA was changed twice before she decided to establish on the one we have now. We see the fact that the property had been part of a big farm called Penitencia (Penance) as very providential. Besides this fact, the sector where the Blessed Mother decided to establish her home is called Ciudad Celeste (Heavenly City); this name reminds us of the challenge and goal of forming a new person for the new community, which our country so ardently needs to become.

The Guayas River is a silent witness of the growth of this new home for our MTA, which will become a beacon for the evangelization and missionary impulse for the youth, for the families of that area, and for our entire nation. It is necessary to mention that this Shrine comes about during a very difficult time for our country, not only because of the worldwide economic crisis but more than ever on account of the struggle to keep values in favor of family, life, and Catholic education. It is precisely because of this that we see this Shrine as a hopeful reality and a calling to trust as the *Marian "cantata" says. (*See end of article.) From this place, the Blessed Mother will shape us into "new St. Pauls" for the new times, who hold the sword of sanctity and who will show Christ triumphant with brave boldness. From this place, she will be the Queen and Educator of a new country and of a strong and bold missionary family.

A Shrine built by the entire Family.

The road we had to walk to reach our goal has been long in the material as well as in the spiritual sense. It began in the year 2003. Sr. M. Consuelo accompanied the first pilgrimages of the Mothers´ League to the first place where the Shrine was supposed to be built. Every Friday, early in the morning, we started walking as we prayed the rosary. Once we got there, the Stations of the Cross as well as other prayers were said. People from the area started joining, and now these people belong to the Schoenstatt Movement. Those pilgrimages never ceased. The Girls´ and Boys´ Youth and some of the other Family Branches go on pilgrimage on different days of the week. We all visit the place as we implore the MTA to establish her home and workshop of the new person here.

The Movement has cooperated throughout the years with the surrender, sacrifices, and prayers of many members and with many material and spiritual contributions for the new throne of the Queen in Samborondón. All has been done as a family. In this sense, the Samborondón committee worked unceasingly and in a family spirit together with the Sisters of Mary, bearers and guardians of the new Shrine. Likewise each and every one of the Branches, the different communities of the work, and the Pilgrims´ Movement have worked with great longing towards the building of this Shrine. As a result, we have felt as one great Family of the Father.

She looked upon the innocence with love of predilection.

There truly was great generosity from the entire Family when it came to the material building of the Shrine and the acquisition of the different symbols, yet the spiritual support was our main concern. Our own Capital of Grace supported each square meter, every wall, and every symbol. Consequently it has been very overwhelming for us to see how the Blessed Mother looked for a concrete surrender. She knocked on the door of specific families and asked for a life offering from them. The MTA looked especially upon the small and innocent as she called Verónica María Baquerizo Carbo and Oscar Varenius González-Artigas to her motherly presence: both of them represent a living foundation for our Shrine. For this reason, we can even now experience this Shrine as a living example of the many who have surrendered their lives to Mary in the Covenant of Love.

The Youth and its Mission.

It is wonderful to see how our youth are moved by this event. The Boys´ Youth with their striving want to conquer St. Paul´s sword. Together with Fr. Patricio Ilabaca and Pablo Gajardo – our seminarian – we see them walking under the sun. They have offered many Eucharistic celebrations on the land and many sacrifices of the will. With all of this, they say to the Blessed Mother: "We fight for you!"

The girls conquered the light frame and the four lilies that go with it. In an e-mail their Branch leader wrote: "Dear Youth, as you all know, the dedication of the new Shrine is coming up real soon… certainly take advantage and go to the place now! There is a lot of dust, but the experience is just too great to see how, little by little our Shrine is being built… I spoke with the construction workers today, and this will be the last week for those of you who still want to write your names on the walls. So, don’t waste any time and go! You can even ask them to open a little hole in a brick if you still want to bury something inside the walls. This is a unique opportunity!

Let us place everything in Her hands… this is our chance to do it! Everything! Our families and friends, our projects, our joys and our sorrows. Let us not forget that she has called us to be a part of this "field of lilies" and that she cares for each one of us. We are the FOUNDING GENERATION OF THIS SHRINE! And it will depend on our surrender and our testimony that many lilies will grow and flourish from this land."

The May Mission.

The Girls´ Youth has received a great motivation for this month of May. The May Mission: Door to Door! The different groups of High School and University Youth have been divided into teams. Each team is responsible for one or two of the 103 subdivisions in the area of Samborondón. They go from house to house inviting all the families to the dedication of the Shrine. One of the leaders said, "No one should be left out! Everyone should know that on May 31st, 2009, our Queen will have a new throne." This is our great mission! "What a joy," – another one said – "to be the bearers of this treasure! Just think of how many girls could be drawn to be a part of our "Field of Lilies"!

Now the only thing left is to invite you to participate in this great event, and thank you for accompanying us with your contributions to the Capital of Grace for the fruitfulness of our MTA from her new home.


Mother, in your Shrine
Let there be Pentecost today.
Renew our hearts
We want to be your witnesses!
At the Banks of the Guayas River, Mother,
You have anchored your ship
That, as a beacon in the night, Mother,
Illumines our path.
Come and live in your Shrine
Home of the Triune God.
Mother, descend to this land,
And give us your Son.
Come and transform the homes
Into a Nazareth for the world
Where love is given
Love is planted, love becomes fruitful
(Excerpt from the Marian "cantata" that will take place after the blessing of the Shrine)

Translation: Maria Elena Vilches, Ecuador/amj, USA



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Last Update: 22.05.2009